Assessing severity of spondylolisthesis

Posted by Twocoastsm @marlenec, Dec 11, 2022

My MRI references the degree of slippage of my L4/L5 vertebrae in millimeters. But when I look up information about the condition and intervention thresholds the literature references grades of spondylolisthesis not millimeters. I have forgotten to ask the doctored what “grade” my slippage is. Anyone out there who can help?

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Can you ask on the patient portal, or look up records of imaging or MD notes on there?

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WelcometoMayoConnect, @marlenec we loveto help peoplesolve the puzzlesofmedical jargon, but this is probably a time you will need to contact the doc. The grades are based on percent of slippage. That would vary based on the size of your vertebrae.

Here is an explanation of how it is calculated and what the grades mean: https://www.spineuniverse.com/conditions/spondylolisthesis/spondylolisthesis-back-condition-treatment

Can you see the doctor notes on line? If not, you might want to call and leave a message.
Sue

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@sueinmn

WelcometoMayoConnect, @marlenec we loveto help peoplesolve the puzzlesofmedical jargon, but this is probably a time you will need to contact the doc. The grades are based on percent of slippage. That would vary based on the size of your vertebrae.

Here is an explanation of how it is calculated and what the grades mean: https://www.spineuniverse.com/conditions/spondylolisthesis/spondylolisthesis-back-condition-treatment

Can you see the doctor notes on line? If not, you might want to call and leave a message.
Sue

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That makes sense (the part about the size of the vertebrae) since the article you cited notes that the grading is based upon the percentage of the vertebra that has slipped over the other. Thanks! Will ask the doc.

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I am 72 and have grade 1 “approaching” grade 2 Spondylolisthesis at L4/L5 and L5/S1. Also arthritis and degenerative disc disease. I’ve had three epidurals which seemed to help pain in the side of one leg and am getting PT (basic lumbar program.) I do not get any numbness or tingling – just an achy lower back on and off but I DO have persistent and stabbing pain in the back of my knee; worsens with walking and especially bending it to climb up the steps to the house after a walk, for example. I’ve seen my MRIs and I know where my nerves are compressed. I assume the spine issues are the root of the knee pain although that knee has had a meniscus repair over 10 years ago and has been wonky for years. O know it’s not a Baker’s cyst. This is really my major and almost only symptom. Does anyone else experience this?

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@marlenec

I am 72 and have grade 1 “approaching” grade 2 Spondylolisthesis at L4/L5 and L5/S1. Also arthritis and degenerative disc disease. I’ve had three epidurals which seemed to help pain in the side of one leg and am getting PT (basic lumbar program.) I do not get any numbness or tingling – just an achy lower back on and off but I DO have persistent and stabbing pain in the back of my knee; worsens with walking and especially bending it to climb up the steps to the house after a walk, for example. I’ve seen my MRIs and I know where my nerves are compressed. I assume the spine issues are the root of the knee pain although that knee has had a meniscus repair over 10 years ago and has been wonky for years. O know it’s not a Baker’s cyst. This is really my major and almost only symptom. Does anyone else experience this?

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Hello @marlenec. I noticed you had a post on spondylolisthesis already, so you will notice I have moved your post into that discussion, which you can find here:
– Assessing severity of spondylolisthesis: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/assessing-severity-of-spondylolisthesis/

Have you had an EMG that helped you identify the nerves issues as a result of the spine issues?

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@amandajro

Hello @marlenec. I noticed you had a post on spondylolisthesis already, so you will notice I have moved your post into that discussion, which you can find here:
– Assessing severity of spondylolisthesis: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/assessing-severity-of-spondylolisthesis/

Have you had an EMG that helped you identify the nerves issues as a result of the spine issues?

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I have not had an EMG. I recently saw a new spine surgeon and he said the spondylolisthesis is grade 1 approaching grade 2. My understanding of that test is that it is used to diagnose nerve and muscle disorders and I’m not sure that my MRIs or my symptoms would suggest that a doctor order it.

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